It can be hard to motivate one’s self to stay fit and healthy when age starts to deal us aches and pains and we begin to slow down a little, whether through choice or necessity. But BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last week brought us an inspiring mix of advice from Sir Muir Gray, former Chief Knowledge Officer to the National Health Service and Diana Moran – or as some will remember her from the 1980s – ‘The Green Goddess’.
Sir Muir explained that what was important was to consider health-span not life-span; it’s not about living forever, but making the most of the life that you have by staying fitter for longer. They both agreed that people should start to think seriously about their fitness from the age of 30, and Diana likened it to an insurance policy. “The more you put into it as the years go by the more, there is to pull on when perhaps bad things do happen,” she explained. She believes that her commitment to fitness helped her to get over her fight with cancer more quickly than it would have otherwise have been. The 76-year-old ex-model and fitness guru, now a grandmother, said that it’s “important to keep our bodies in good nick”.
The problem of aging, they suggested, was not so much the advancing years, but a loss of fitness which could have helped to stave off preventable diseases or allow us to bounce back more rapidly, and an attitude that fitness was less important the older one gets.
They may have initially suggested that the ideal time to start investing in your health and fitness is in your 30s, but they also went on to point out that it’s never too late to start. Anyone can help themselves to stay fitter through running, walking, or even stretching a little more and standing more than sitting.
The Green Goddess has her passion for walking and her stretching regimes which she does each day to stay in tip-top condition. They both put out a call to everyone listening, and I’m passing that message on here in this article, to get up, get moving, and get fit, because a little extra effort each day could help you to live a happier life for longer.